Posts Tagged ‘Ruth Davison’

How the mighty are fallen

03/10/2011, 09:10:35 AM

by Tom Harris

Annabel Goldie is a nice woman. She is intelligent, likeable and formidable in almost perfect proportion. And it is a cruel irony that only in a pre-devolution era could Annabel ever have been considered as a serious candidate for the post of Scotland’s first minister.

In the week when she delivers her swan song as Scottish Tory leader to her party conference, she will have cause to reflect on the past and future of the party she has led since 2005. And to consider whether or not it actually has a future.

And as my own party continues to come to terms with our defeat in our heartlands and whether or not we have a future, we might feel a twinge of sympathy with Annabel.

A feeling common to us both is frustration. There are capable, principled people in both our parties who continue to be denied ministerial office. In our case we hold out hope that the drought might end in four years’ time. For the Tories things are even worse; barring some unprecedented political earthquake or extinction-level event such as a collision with a stray asteroid, they are doomed to be neither the largest party in Holyrood nor the preferred coalition partner of any other party – even the Scottish Lib Dems wouldn’t be seen talking to them publicly. Things in the playground are rough indeed when even the weird kid who eats stuff for money won’t play with you.

The frustration of opposition is part and parcel of democratic politics, but we’re the Scottish Labour Party, for crying out loud. Scotland is where we weighed votes, went the old (and wrong) received wisdom. Annabel’s frustration has the same root: hers is the only party ever to win an actual majority of the popular vote in Scotland (50.1 per cent in 1955, for the anoraks among you). And now? (more…)

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